How to Select a Nursing School near Atwater California
Locating the right nursing college near Atwater CA may feel like a formidable project, especially if you have no idea what to look for in a good degree program. As you may presently know, in order to practice as a registered nurse, you need to acquire the proper education and training in order to become licensed. So it is vitally important that you research and assess the qualifications of each college you are considering before enrolling in your ultimate selection. Regrettably, too many prospective students base their selection entirely on the cost of tuition and the distance of the school. Going with the least costly school or the one that is local to your house is most likely not the most ideal way to decide on a nursing program. There are several key additional factors to investigate before you decide where to enroll in classes. But before we examine that checklist, let’s first look at what the role of a registered nurse is in our medical care system, together with the nursing degree options that are offered.
Registered Nurse Job Activities
Registered nurses are the primary occupation in the healthcare delivery system. RNs practice in numerous different medical settings, including Atwater CA hospitals, family practices, outpatient clinics, nursing homes and even schools. Their primary duty is to support doctors in the care of their patients. However, the specific duties of a registered nurse will depend on their job or area of expertise in addition to where they work. A portion of the functions of an RN may include:
- Providing medications
- Monitoring patients
- Performing physical examinations
- Managing care
- Supervising LPNs, LVNs and nurse aides
- Educating patients and their families
- Keeping health records and charts
Nurses with a higher degree may have more high level job duties and accountabilities. Nurse practitioners (NP), as an example, must hold a Master’s Degree and normally work more independently than their RN counterparts. They can provide primary or specialty care services, prescribe medications, and diagnose and treat basic illnesses or injuries.
There are several degree options available to become a registered nurse. And in order to become an RN, a student must enroll in an accredited school and program. A student can obtain a qualifying degree in as little as 2 years, or advance to attain a graduate degree for a total of six years. Following are some brief descriptions of the nursing degrees that are available in the Atwater CA area.
- Associates. The Associate Degree in Nursing (ADN) is usually a two year program made available by community colleges. It prepares graduates for an entry level job in nursing in healthcare facilities including hospitals, clinics or nursing homes. Many utilize the ADN as an entry into nursing and afterwards attain a higher degree.
- Bachelor’s. The Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN) offers more expansive training than the ADN. It is generally a four year program offered at colleges and universities. Licensed RNs may be eligible to complete an accelerated program based on their previous training or degree and professional experience (RN to BSN). Those applying to the program might desire to advance to a clinical or administrative position, or be more competitive in the job market.
- Master’s. The Master of Science in Nursing (MSN) is commonly a two year program after attaining the BSN. The MSN program provides specialization training, for example to become a nurse practitioner or concentrate on administration, management or teaching.
After a graduating student has acquired one of the above degrees, he or she must pass the National Council Licensure Examination for Registered Nurses (NCLEX-RN) in order to become licensed. Additional requirements for licensing can vary from state to state, so be sure to check with the California board of nursing for any state mandates.
LPN Certificates and Degrees
There are generally two scholastic accreditations available that provide instruction to become either an LPN or an LVN. The one that may be finished in the shortest time period, typically about 12 months, is the certificate or diploma program. The second choice is to obtain a Practical Nursing Associate Degree. These programs are broader in nature than the diploma option and generally require 2 years to finish. The benefit of Associate Degrees, besides providing a higher credential and more comprehensive instruction, are that they provide more transferable credit toward a Bachelor’s Degree in nursing. Regardless of the type of credential you pursue, it should be California approved and accredited by the National League for Nursing Accrediting Commission (NLNAC) or any other national accrediting organization. The NLNAC attests that the syllabus effectively prepares students to become Practical Nurses, and that the majority of graduates pass the 50 state required NCLEX-PN licensing exam.
Unlike some other licensed nurses, certified nursing assistants do not have to attain a college degree. CNA education can be received at Atwater CA area community colleges or at vocational or trade schools. The duration of the training program can take anywhere from 1 to three months, resulting in either a certificate or a diploma. Within the 1987 Nursing Home Reform Act, students are mandated to receive at least 75 hours of training, 16 of which must be clinical or “hands-on” training hours. Bear in mind that this is the minimal period of instruction mandated and each state has its specific prerequisites. So it’s crucial to make sure that the course you enroll in not only satisfies the federal requirements, but also those for California or the state where you will be practicing. One recommendation is to get in touch with the health or nursing board for your state to make sure that the training is state certified. In addition to the training, each state mandates a passing score on a competency test for certification. Depending on the state, there can be other prerequisites as well.
Questions to Ask Nursing Colleges
Now that you have decided on which nursing program to enroll in, along with if to attend your classes on campus near Atwater CA or online, you can use the following checklist to begin narrowing down your choices. As you no doubt are aware, there are numerous nursing schools and colleges within California and the United States. So it is necessary to decrease the number of schools to select from to ensure that you will have a workable list. As we already mentioned, the location of the school as well as the expense of tuition are undoubtedly going to be the initial two points that you will take into consideration. But as we also stressed, they should not be your only qualifiers. So before making your ultimate selection, use the following questions to evaluate how your pick measures up to the other schools.
- Accreditation. It’s a good idea to make sure that the degree or certificate program in addition to the school is accredited by a U.S. Department of Education acknowledged accrediting agency. Aside from helping verify that you get a premium education, it may assist in obtaining financial aid or student loans, which are often not offered in Atwater CA for non-accredited schools.
- Licensing Preparation. Licensing requirements for registered nurses differ from state to state. In all states, a passing score is needed on the National Council Licensure Examination (NCLEX-RN) together with graduation from an accredited school. Some states require a specific number of clinical hours be performed, as well as the passing of additional tests. It’s imperative that the school you are attending not only delivers a top-notch education, but also preps you to meet the minimum licensing standards for California or the state where you will be working.
- Reputation. Check internet rating services to see what the assessments are for each of the schools you are looking into. Ask the accrediting agencies for their reviews also. Also, contact the California school licensing authority to find out if there are any complaints or compliance issues. Finally, you can speak with some Atwater CA healthcare organizations you’re interested in working for after graduation and ask what their assessments are of the schools as well.
- Graduation and Job Placement Rates. Find out from the RN schools you are considering what their graduation rates are as well as how long on average it takes students to complete their programs. A low graduation rate may be an indication that students were dissatisfied with the program and dropped out. It’s also essential that the schools have high job placement rates. A high rate will not only verify that the school has a favorable reputation within the Atwater CA medical community, but that it also has the network of relationships to help students obtain employment.
- Internship Programs. The most ideal way to obtain experience as a registered nurse is to work in a clinical setting. Almost all nursing degree programs require a certain number of clinical hours be completed. A number of states have minimum clinical hour requirements for licensing as well. Ask if the schools have associations with Atwater CA hospitals, clinics or labs and assist with the placing of students in internships.
Nursing Online Schools
Enrolling in nursing colleges online is emerging as a more popular way to obtain instruction and acquire a nursing degree. Certain schools will require attending on campus for part of the training, and nearly all programs require a specified amount of clinical rotation hours carried out in a local healthcare center. But since the balance of the training may be accessed online, this alternative may be a more practical solution to finding the time to attend college for some Atwater CA students. Pertaining to tuition, many online degree programs are less costly than other on campus choices. Even supplementary expenses such as for commuting and study materials can be minimized, helping to make education more economical. And numerous online programs are accredited by organizations like the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education (CCNE) for BSN and MSN degrees. So if your job and household responsibilities have left you with limited time to work toward your academic goals, perhaps an online nursing training program will make it more convenient to fit a degree into your hectic schedule.
Attending a Nursing School near Atwater CA?
Perhaps you have already made your decision to attend a Nursing Program in the greater Atwater California area. If that is the case, then the following information may prove to be both educational and useful regarding the location of your future Alma Mater.
Atwater is a city on State Route 99 in Merced County, California, United States. Atwater is 8 miles (13 km) west-northwest of Merced, at an elevation of 151 feet (46 m). The population as of the 2010 census was 28,168.
The railroad reached Atwater in the 1870s, and a town grew up. The first post office opened in 1880. Atwater incorporated in 1922. The name honors Marshall D. Atwater, a wheat farmer whose land was used by the railroad for its station.
The 2010 United States Census reported that Atwater had a population of 28,168. The population density was 4,620.8 people per square mile (1,784.1/km²). The racial makeup of Atwater was 18,410 (65.4%) White, 14,808 (52.6%) Hispanic or Latino of any race, 1,225 (4.3%) African American, 364 (1.3%) Native American, 1,416 (5.0%) Asian, 76 (0.3%) Pacific Islander, 5,300 (18.8%) from other races, and 1,377 (4.9%) from two or more races.
Select the Right Nursing School near Atwater CA
Selecting the ideal registered nursing degree program is perhaps the most critical first step to starting a new career in the healthcare field. There are a number of variables that you must think about when picking a nursing school. These factors will be prioritized differently depending on your existing career objectives, lifestyle, and financial status. As we have highlighted within this content, it is essential that you choose an RN school and a degree program that are both accredited and have outstanding reputations within the medical community. By utilizing our checklist of qualifying questions, you will be able to produce a short list of schools to select from so that you can make your ultimate selection. And with the appropriate degree and training, combined with your dedication and ambition to succeed, you can become a licensed RN in Atwater CA.
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